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Author of "A Rose-Garden Husband" "The 
Wishing- Ring Man" etc. 

THIRST published as "Factories, and Other 
Poems" and out of print for some time, this 
book has been reset for this new edition. The 
author has embraced the opportunity to make some 
changes in the original text and to add a number 
of new poems. 










Published August, 1917 





The Factories ; '. * .;.; 9 























6 Contents 



THE WAR-GOD . . . . . . .52 

















THE PROMISERS . . . . . . .78 

AN OLD WOMAN . . . . '. -79 




SEARCH ......... 83 

MANET! 85 


Contents 7 




















SIEGE 113 






SONG . .119 

SONG i 20 

8 Contents 







THE OLD SOUL ....... 131 








JEANNE D'ARC AT RHEIMS . . . . . 146 


THE PASSING . . . . . . . . 153 


I HAVE shut my little sister in from life and light 
(For a rose, for a ribbon, for a wreath across my 


I have made her restless feet still until the night, 
Locked from sweets of summer and from wild 

spring air; 

I who ranged the meadowlands, free from sun to sun, 
Free to sing and pull the buds and watch the far 

wings fly, 

I have bound my sister till her playing-time was done 
Oh, my little sister, was it If Was it If 

I have robbed my sister of her day of maidenhood 
(For a robe, for a feather, for a trinket's restless 

Shut from Love till dusk shall fall, how shall she know 


How shall she go scatheless through the sin-lit dark? 
I who could be innocent, I who could be gay, 

I who could have love and mirth before the light 

went by, 

I have put my sister in her mating-time away 
Sister, my young sister, was it If Was it If 

I have robbed my sister of the lips against her breast, 
(For a coin, for the weaving of my children's lace 
and lawn), 


io The Factories 

Feet that pace beside the loom, hands that cannot 

How can she know motherhood, whose strength is 


I who took no heed of her, starved and labor-worn, 
I, against whose placid heart my sleepy gold-heads 


^Round my path they cry to me, little souls unborn 
God of Life! Creator! It was I! It was I! 



THERE was a white bird lighted on the sill 

That sang of Italy. 
All day the great bands whirled along the mill 

And pale girls languidly 
Wound the long skeins that do not ever end, 

And nothing saw or heard ; 
Only one heart flew back to sun and friend 

And freedom with the bird. 

Doves by the broken fountain in the square 

Cooed at her small brown feet; 
There was wide sky and love and laughter there, 

And the soft wind was sweet; 
The long days ran, like little children, free 

In that blue, sunny air, 
Life did not labor hushed and measuredly, 

There was not gold or care. 

The close heat pulsed, unsweetened by the sun, 

And the blind walls again 
Penned her to tasks unending, unbegun, 

Monotony and pain; 
But all that day her feet paced with gay will, 

Her child-heart circled free. 
There was a white dove lighted on the sill 

That cooed of Italy. 


THE fillet needs another pearl, the hand another ring, 

(Turn, wheels, turn, dusk in the red young sun!) 
What are little hearts that beat and little lips that sing ? 

(Turn, wheels, turn, whirl till our whim is won!) 
Flesh and blood and dusky eyes, childish heart and 

These shall turn our wheels for us and wither through 

the day 
(Turn, wheels, turn, dusk in the red young sun!) 

The pinnace needs a swifter sail, the fortress needs a 


(Turn, wheels, turn, bleak in the sultry noon!) 
What if all the woods are green and all the fields in 

flower ? 

(Turn, wheels, turn, stilling the youth-time soon!) 
Children's strength and children's lives are fuel that 

we burn, 
More shall come when these are gone to make our 

great wheels turn 

(Turn, wheels, turn, bleak in the sultry noon!) 

A New Spinning Song 15 

Leisure-time and mirth are dear, flesh and blood are 


(Turn, wheels, turn, black in the hopeless night!) 
What if children break or die the morns we smile in 

sleep ? 

(Turn, wheels, turn, over the hearts once light!) 
Spinning flesh to gold for us, spinning life for bread, 
Spinning hope and strength and breath along the end- 
less thread 
(Turn, wheels, turn, black in the hopeless night!) 


WHEN I was young and my days were long 

I heard my grandmother's spinning-song: 

She sang and spun while I sat by her knee, 

And this was the song my granny sang me : 

" The man shall take and the woman give 

All the days that they both must live, 

Woman shall give and the man shall take 

Till the sky fall through and the wide earth break!" 

When I was young and the world was new 
I loved a lad and he loved me true ; 
He could have won me easy as could be, 
But oh, he was still with the fear of me; 
I longed to speak and to make him glad, 
But I was a lass and he was a lad, 
I could not speak though no word be spoken, 
And I held my tongue till my heart was broken ; 
For woman gives and the man must take 
Though her life may spoil and her heart may break, 
For man must take and the woman give, 
Though it spoils all the days that they both have to 
live ! 

When I was grown and was full wife-old 
A man there came and his love was bold; 
I wished him neither nigh nor yet away, 
I had no will to tell him yea nor nay 


An Old Wife's Song 17 

But a lass must wed ere her fading, and in sooth 

All a woman's gold is her face and her youth, 

So I gave him my hand, though 'twas naught to me, 

For what but a wife can a poor lass be? 

For man will take and the woman give 

What is there else when a woman has to live? 

For woman must give if the man will take 

And buy with her youth till her youth shall break! 

When my man was wed and his love was through 

I bore him a son, as I was glad to do, 

When he was through with courting and calling me 

his dear 

I bore him a man-child for each wedded year. 
I gave them my looks and my youth and my tears, 
I gave them the strength of all my years, 
So my life was broken when they went from me, 
Yet what beside a mother may a good wife be? 
For woman gives and the man will take 
And go his ways though her heart may break 
For man shall take and the woman give 
All through the years she is bound to live! 

And now I'm old and none pays me heed, 

For I've no gift that a man may need, 

And when I was young is a long time ago, 

For this is never my world I used to know ! 

For down through the land a maid may pass 

As if she were a lad and not a lady-lass, 

She gives and she takes, and stands or may fall 

As if she were a strong man and not a maid at all! 

1 8 An Old Wife>s Son# 

And she takes what she'd take, and she gives what 

she'd give, 

For this is a world where a lass must live 
And can it be that the world's made new 
And the sky is fallen and the world's broke through? 


I SHALL not lie to you any more, 
Flatter or fawn to attain my end 

I am what never has been before, 
Woman and Friend. 

I shall be strong as a man is strong, 

I shall be fair as a man is fair, 
Hand in locked hand we shall pass along 

To a purer air: 

I shall not drag at your bridle-rein, 
Knee pressed to knee shall we ride the hill ; 

I shall not lie to you ever again 
Will you love me stillf 


THE little, pitiful, worn, laughing faces 
Begging of Life for Joy! 

I saw the little daughters of the poor, 

Tense from the long day's working, strident, gay, 

Hurrying to the picture-place. There curled 

A hideous flushed beggar at the door, 

Trading upon his horror, eyeless, maimed, 

Complacent in his profitable mask. 

They mocked his horror, but they gave to him 

From the brief wealth of pay-night, and went in 

To the cheap laughter and the tawdry thought 

Thrown on the screen ; in to the seeking hand 

Covered by darkness, to the luring voice 

Of Horror, boy-masked, whispering of rings, 

Of silks, of feathers, bought so cheap! With just 

Their slender starved child-bodies, palpitant 

For Beauty, Laughter, Passion, that are Life : 

(A frock of satin for an hour's shame, 

A coat of fur for two days' servitude ; 

" And the clothes last," the thought runs on within 

The poor warped girl-minds drugged with changeless 


" Who cares or knows after the hour is done? ") 
Poor little beggars at Life's door for Joy! 


The Beggars 21 

The old man crouched there, eyeless, horrible, 

Complacent in the marketable mask 

That earned his comforts and they gave to him! 

But ah, the little painted, wistful faces 
Questioning Life for Joy ! 


THE strangers' children laugh along the street : 
They know not, or forget the sweeping of the Net 
Swift to ensnare such little careless feet. 

And we we smile and watch them pass along, 
And those who walk beside, soft-smiling, cruel-eyed- 
We guard our own not ours to right the wrong! 

We do not care we shall not heed or mark, 
Till we shall hear one day, too late to strive or pray, 
Our daughters' voices crying from the dark! 


HE saw it last of all before they herded in the steerage, 
Dusk against the sunset where he lingered by the 

The tear-stained, dusk-rose face of her, the little 

Sailing out to lands of gold. 

Ah, his days were long, long days, still toiling in the 


Working for the gold to set him free to go to her, 
Where gay there glowed the flower-face of little 

Where all joy and riches were. . . . 

Hard to find one rose-face where the dark rose-faces 

Where the outland laws are strange and outland 

voices hum 

Only one lad's hoping, and the word of Teresina, 
Who would wait for him to come : 

God grant he may not find her, since he may not win 

her freedom, 

Nor yet be great enough to love in such marred, cap- 
tive guise 

The patient, painted face of her, the little Teresina, 
With its cowed, all-knowing eyes! 


SHE shaped her painted smile that night 

Before the painted trees, 
And postured in her drenching light, 

And shrilled her songs, to please 
The night-worn city faces 

With dull indecencies. 

And then . . . she nodded from her place 
Across the smoke-drugged air 

To some old man's attracted face, 
Half-drunken in his chair. . . . 

And sang him " Annie Laurie " 
As if green woods were there ! 

That brave old song of moor-winds keen, 

Of heather-breath, and snow, 
Of love all-worshipful, and clean 

Young faith of long ago. . . . 
" Maxwelltoris braes are bonnie !" . . . 

Poor child! How could she know? 


WHERE have you been the long day through, 

Little brothers of mine? 
For soon the world shall belong to you, 
Yours to mar or to build anew 
Have you been to learn what the world shall do, 

Little brothers going home? 

We have been to learn through the weary day 
Where the great looms echo and crash and sway 
The world has willed it, and we obey, 
Elder brother. 

What did you learn till set of sun, 

Little brothers of mine, 
Down where the great looms wove and spun, 
You who are many where we are one 
(We whose day is so nearly done), 

Little brothers toiling home? 

We have learned the things that the mill-folk said, 
How Man is cruel and God is dead. . . . 
And how to spin with an even thread, 
Elder brother. 


26 The Guides 

What did you win with the thing they taught, 

Little brothers of mine, 

You whose sons shall have strength you brought, 
Fashion their lives of the faith you bought, 
Follow afar the ways you sought, 

Little brothers stealing home? 

Shattered body and stunted brain, 
Hearts made hard with the need of gain, 
These we won and must give again, 
Elder brother. 

How shall the world fare in your hand, 

Little brothers of mine, 
When you shall stand where now we stand? 
Will you lift a light in the darkened land, 
Or fire its ways with a burning brand, 

Little brothers creeping home? 

W hat of the way the world shall fare? 
What the world has given the world must bear. . . 
We are tired ah, tired and we cannot care, 
Elder brother! 


THE little dreamer is dead 

Who would have woven for Man 

Thread upon golden thread, 
Span upon silver span, 

Into the dark degrees 

Of the great world-tapestries. 

For God had given him dreams 
That would have builded earth 

To a place of heaven-schemes, 
Of pity and peace and mirth 

But the little dreamer is dead, 

And the dreams of his childish head. 

There were not under the stars 

Riches enough for him ; 
Men have to wage world-wars, 

Pile the great towers that dim 
Beauty of sea and sky 
The children are left to die. 

In this our merciful day 

Saints may not live to climb 

Their crosses and who shall say 
In what short pulse of time 

With none to pity or hark 

Christ-children die in the dark? 


SMILING dolly with the eyes of blue, 
Was it lovely where they fashioned you, 
Were there laughing gnomes, and did the breeze 
Toss the snow along the Christmas trees ? 
Tiny Hands and Mil, and thin rags torn, 
Faces drawn with waking night and morn, 
Eyes that strained until they could not see, 
Little mother, where they fashioned me. 

Gold-haired dolly in the silken dress, 
Tell me where you found your loveliness, 
Were they fairy folk who clad you so, 
Gold wands quivering and wings aglow? 
Narrow walls and low, and tumbled bed, 
One dim lamp to see to knot the thread, 
This was all I saw till dark came down, 
Little mother, where they sewed my gown. 

Rosy dolly on my Christmas tree, 
Tell the lovely things you saw to me, 
Were there golden birds and silver dew 
In the fairylands they brought you through? 
Weary footsteps all and weary faces 
Serving crowds within the crowded places, 
This was all I saw the Christ-eve through, 
Little mother, ere I came to you. 

A Christmas Doll 29 

Smiling dolly in the Christmas-green, 
What do all these cruel stories mean? 
Are there children, then, who cannot say 
Thanks to Christ for this his natal day? 
Ay, there's weariness and want and shame, 
Pain and evil in the good Lord's name, 
Things the peasant Christ-child could not know 
On his quiet birthday long ago! 


THE city lights are gold and red and strung in garlands 

They whirl and dance and turn and spread till night's 

like day, 
Till all the wild that's part of you comes leaping from 

the heart of you 

And swings you all aquiver down the flashing way : 
But oh, the little old lights, not garlanded nor gold 

One by one they petalled out, the pleasant lights you 

As up and down the pavement's hem the old man 

limped a-lighting them, 

The old lamps in the old town when the sleepy day 
was through. 

The city streets are straight and wide, and hurrying on 

every side 
The people crowd and cross and ride and elbow 

Till down the pavement's noise and beat your feet keep 

time to swifter feet, 

The pulses of the city as it hastens fast : 
But oh, the little town streets, the rambling up-and- 
down streets, 

All the twists and turns are just the way they used 
to be: 


The Old Town 31 

You'd think the very dead you knew might round a 

lane and smile at you 
And nod a careless welcome in the old way cheerily. 

The city's gay and wild and kind, and full of joy 

for you to find, 
And all its ways that cross and wind are blithe 

each one, 
It's like a sweetheart beckoning; and, laughing at the 

You spring to follow after till your youth-time's 

But glad of you and sad of you, the little wistful lad 

of you, 
Leaps up to greet the old place when you're grown 

too old to roam: 

It's like your mother calling you whatever is befall- 
ing you, 

The little old town's waiting till you're ready to come 


THEY work at our command; they weave and spin; 
The shuttles and the steps go out and in, 
Go back and forth: through time and life and tears 
They pace and weave for us throughout the years. 

And through the years we weave their souls for them, 
Spotted and warped and wried about the hem, 
Knotted with weariness and marked with toil, 
Souls twisted like the warp their tired hands spoil. 

What shall we do with all these souls that lie 
Thick by the ways where our light feet pass by? 
God does not say in anger (as would we), 
" Do over now your task done evilly, 

Make straight and clean these souls you soil and break, 
Or for your evil doing I will take 
What you have made from you." He lets us keep 
Peace and self-comforting and happy sleep. 

He lets us deck our lives and make them fair, 
Keep light and mirth, and flowers in our hair. 
He waits; the little lovely things we know 
Beneath our white hands lift and smile and grow : 

Power to appraise the rose of sunset-light, 
Wisdom to judge the music's tones aright, 


The Twisted Souls 33 

Delight in carven, builded words that pile 
High while we sit and listen soft, and smile, 

Love for our own folk of our finer clay. . . . 
These things are good. But what if God should say, 
" These little fairnesses and sweets you fold 
Around your souls to wrap them from the cold, 

They are but play-work for the end of night 
When all My tasks I gave are done aright: 
What of the souls I gave into your care 
Have you them ready for Me, straight and fair?" 

Our lives go on from pleasant day to day. 
God waits. He does not speak. . . . What will He 


THE May-scents down the nightland 

Blew wild and cool and far, 
And a free sweet air flung leaves to where 

Swung a little free white star 
By the long wall and weary 

Where the Prison-People are. 

They were the foolish children 

Who could not find their way 
From out their night to any light 

Nor knew there could be day. . . 
And the evil night-roads called them 

And their weak feet went astray : 

They were the crippled brothers 

Who could not tread so fast 
The paths of wrong as the swift and strong 

Who sinned their sins and passed ; 
But blundered in their sinning 

And were trapped and bound at last. 

They stay shut close from wandering 

And we go free outside; 
There must be bars yet oh, the stars 

So high and the world so wide, 
So near the little darkened cells 

Where the Prison-People bide ! 


Prison-People 35 

How can we know the evil? 

How can we know the right? 
How can we part, who see no heart. 

The darkness from the light? 
We only know that free we go, 

And they lie still in night. 


THIS is my son that you have taken, 

Guard lest your gold-vault walls be shaken, 

Never again to speak or waken. 

This, that I gave my life to make, 

This you have bidden the vultures break 

Dead for your selfish quarrel's sake ! 

This that I built of all my years, 

Made with my strength and love and tears, 

Dead for pride of your shining spears ! 

Just for your playthings bought and sold 
You have crushed to a heap of mold 
Youth and life worth a whole world's gold 

This was my son that you have taken, 
Guard lest your gold-vault walls be shaken 
This that shall never speak or waken! 


"FOR this were ye made," the King saith, 

" To be sent to death 

For the sake of Our thrones; 

For this shall your women breed 

Fighting-men to our need; 

For this shall ye drudge to mold 

Toil into guarding gold: 

For We build Our thrones 

Of gold and of dead men's bones, 

And this is of God," the King saith. . . . 

" Ay," said the Folk, " we know. 

Great are God and the King. We go." 

11 There is nothing new since the world began, 

There is nothing new" swing the cheery fife and 

" There is nothing new in all the land of man 

In the death of man, in the hate of man, 
Ay, the mirth and killing in the hand of man, 

Let them come! Let them come! Let them come! 
We have cheered the killing on the earth of man 
Since the birth of man for the mirth of man: 
There is nothing new in all the wars of man 

Let them come let them come let them come!" 

(Ay, fife-and-drum beat, hideously cheerful, 
Hideously merry, shrilly heartening, 

38 War-March 

Death-birds settling over the stricken field, 
Widely circling, smooth, unhurried of wing; 

Babes born dead on the earth-heaps, women starving 

Skulls turned up in the plowing a century hence from 
the mold, 

By peoples battle-dwarfed, fearful, 

Ay, fife-and-drum beat, hideously cheerful, 

Joy-of -battle unsealed, 
All these are known 

All these are old.) 

Silent troopers tramping down the roadway, 
(Horror falls when the drums forget to beat) 

Heartbreak heartbreak heartbreak heartbreak 
Echoes and follows from the heavy-marching feet. 

Screaming boys lash-drafted from their plowing, 
Fear-hushed women hoping of the dead 

Heartbreak heartbreak heartbreak heartbreak 
Answers and follows on the ruthless-passing tread. 

Strong young soldiers singing toward their death-place, 
Never strong more, never to have sons 

Heartbreak heartbreak heartbreak heartbreak 
Throbs their tread above the thunder of the guns. 

Stiffened hands that touch no sweetheart ever, 
Mouths agape, in horrid laughter curled 

Heartbreak heartbreak heartbreak heartbreak 
Echoes and shudders all across the shaken 

War-March 39 

There is grief on the forsaken fields. . . . 

(Sorrow! wail the bugles . . . O endless sorrow and 

For the food that shall rot ungarnered, for the hungry 
who shall not eat, 

For the starving years that must follow the track in 
the trampled wheat, 

For the girl-children tortured and ravished, the old 
women lashed and maimed, 

For the babies nailed up by the foot-palms, the shud- 
dering mothers shamed. . . . 

(Sorrow! wail the bugles . . . O endless sorrow and 

For the hearts of the men made brutal, made mur- 
derers evermore, 

For the world a century halted by challenging guards 
of war, 

For death . . . and for hate . . . and for hun- 
ger. . . . 

(Sorrow! cry the bugles far off in the future. . . . 

(" Were we made for this?" asked the Folk 

Lifting their eyes from the sod 

A little way to peer 

From the crushing-weighted yoke 

Of toil and of slaughterings 

Of the King and his battle-lust, 

The King and his battle-God: 

40 War-March 

And the sullen murmur broke 
Like waves when the storm is near. . . . 
" The Kings/' they said, " are but dust 
Who hath made our world for Kings?" ) 


FLOWER-DECKED, wide-skirted, from her oval frame 
She watches us between the drooping curls 
And smiles a little as she always smiled. 

She was a woman of the older day : 

She could not cry of elemental things, 

She suffered them, scarce knowing what they were 

She could not speak of them aloud to men. 

Lady and slave, saint and barbarian, 

She was not just or cold or merciful, 

She only swiftly hated or adored ; 

Her heart was narrow-bound and passionate, 

Smoothed out and wreathed with blue forget-me-nots 

Valentine-fashion, lest the red should show. 

She could not speak of love aloud to men 

She could have died for love : 

Brave for her love's sake against gods or friends, 

Brave for her love's sake against even men 

(The more real gods of her idolatry) 

She was not wise nor public-spirited ; 

She could bear heroes, never understand them. 

Her passions hid themselves in sentiment 
Or broke in sobs at night-time silently 
Lest any one should hear them and be grieved. 


42 An Old Portrait 

She drugged her mind when all her work was through 
For a brief time, with other women's work, 
Stories of feverish love she dreamed might be, 
Or knew was not, or wished could be for her, 
Of women like herself, men she had seen 
Through the rose-glow of courtship long ago, 
Ere she was flung from haloed ignorance 
Into the pit of Truth her wedding-ring 
Was trap to and through all the shock held still 
And smiled a little as she always smiled. 

She lived within a world with walls made proof 

From noise of evil or of suffering, 

Shut in her cell from other women's pain ; 

But then she hated other women still 

Beneath her gentleness and courtesy; 

They might desire to win some man of hers, 

Husband or son or brother that she loved. 

Sincere in self-deception, loving God, 

(That personal God who could not help the ill, 

But must be thanked for good), doing for Him 

Kind concrete little deeds to palliate 

The great world-sores the while she shut her eyes 

To the sores' causes 

Still she sits, a sphinx, 
Half goddess, half a tigress! Silent still 
And smiling: gentle, good, she bends and smiles 
Between the drooping curls, below the wreath, 
Down at the fetter-bracelets on her hands, 
Smiles up a little still from out the frame 
That circumscribes her like her world of old. 


SHE could have loved her woman-passions beat 
Deeper than theirs, or else she had not known 

How to have dropped her heart beneath their feet 
A living stepping-stone: 

The little hands did they not clutch her heart? 

The guarding arms was she not very tired? 
Was it an easy thing to walk apart, 

Unresting, undesired? 

She gave away her crown of woman-praise, 
Her gentleness and silent girlhood grace, 

To be a merriment for idle days, 
Scorn for the market-place: 

She strove for an unvisioned, far-off good, 

For one far hope she knew she should not see : 

These not her daughters crowned with mother- 
And love and beauty free. 



"On, Woman, what is the thing you do, and what is 

the thing you cry? 
Is your house not warm and inclosed from harm, that 

you thrust the curtain by? 
And have we not toiled to build for you a peace from 

the winds outside, 
That you seek to know how the battles go and ride 

where the fighters ride?" 

You have taken my spindle away from me, you have 

taken away my loom, 
You bid me sit in the dust of it, at peace without cloth 

or broom, 
You have shut me still with a sleepy will, with nor evil 

nor good to do, 
While our house the World that we keep for God 

should be garnished and swept anew. 

The evil things that have waxed and grown while I 

sat with my white hands still, 
They have meshed our World till they twined and 

curled through my very window-sill ; 
Shall I sit and smile at mine ease the while that my 

house is wrongly kept? 
It is mine to see that the house of me is straightened 

and cleansed and swept! 

The Housekeeper 45 

My daughters strive for their souls alive, harried and 

starved and cold 
Shall I bear it long, who was swift and strong in 

guarding them white of old? 
My children cry in our house the World, neglected and 

hard-oppressed - 
Is my right not then to command all men to be still 

while the children rest? 

I who labored beside my mate when the work of the 

World began, 
The watch I kept while my children slept I will keep 

to-day by Man : 
I have crouched too long by the little hearths at the 

bidding of Man my mate 
I go to kindle the Hearth of the World, that Man has 

left desolate ! 


LET us in through the guarded gate, 
Let us in for our pain's sake ! 
Lips set smiling and face made fair 
Still for you through the pain we bare, 
We have hid till our hearts were sore 
Blacker things than you ever bore : 
Let us in through the guarded gate, 
Let us in for our pain's sake! 

Let us in through the guarded gate, 
Let us in for our strength's sake ! 
Light held high in a strife ne'er through 
We have fought for our sons and you, 
We have conquered a million years' 
Pain and evil and doubt and tears 
Let us in through the guarded gate, 
Let us in for our strengths sake! 

Let us in through the guarded gate, 
Let us in for your own sake ! 
We have held you within our hand, 
Marred or made as we broke or planned, 
We have given you life or killed 
King or brute as we taught or willed 
Let us in through the guarded gate, 
Let us in for your own sake! 

The Women's Litany 47 

Let us in through the guarded gate, 
Let us in for the world's sake ! 
We are blind who must guide your eyes, 
We are weak who must help you rise, 
All untaught who must teach and mold 
Souls of men till the world is old 
Let us in through the guarded gate, 
Let us in for the world's sake! 


GOD has not told us whither we are going : 
Only the seed our heart holds is His sowing 
Only we follow in His great wind blowing. 

Not like a trumpet-cry on high outleaping, 
Most like a woman's moan or a child's weeping 
Came the great Word to us, apart and sleeping; 

Only the Whisper came to us awaking, 

Like a low wind across the wheat-fields shaking, 

"Follow and come! A path is made for taking! 

Once wise men blazed a path for this world's needing, 
Followed unhoping where their Truth was leading; 
Now ye must tread, where once their feet trod bleed- 

Frightened we whispered, each to each, out-peering, 

Each still unknowing of the other's fearing 

" Sister, you heard it? Sister, you, too, hearing? " 

Until we followed in the faint dawn-golding, 
White hand outreached to hand unused to holding, 
Followed the pathway still unguessed unfolding: 


A Marching Song of Women 49 

Ay, still we follow till the night is falling, 

Still, though the path be rough or burdens galling, 

Still we must follow at the Whisper's calling: 

God has not told us whither we are going, 
Only the seed our heart holds is His sowing 
Only we follow in His great wind blowing! 


You gave bread to the poor, my mother 
/ go to give my heart. 

What will they do with your heart, my daughter? 

Maybe they will tear it maybe they will trample it, 
Toss it down apart. 

But what will they give you for your heart, my 


This gift from out your hand ? 
You are going from the vision of your own who could 

see with you, 

Going from the loving of your own who could com- 
fort you, 

From those who understand: 
What of the little foolish things bred in the bone of 

What of the little things that make the life and soul 

of you 

From many hundred years ? 

You and all these may be sisters in the heart of you, 
But what of the chains that shall hold the souls apart 

of you 

Old feelings, instincts, fears? 
Your heart you can give them to cling to or trample 


The Settlement Worker 51 

Never the soul that a thousand women shaped for you 
Who have walked daintily ! 

Ay, they gave bread to the poor, my mother, 

I give the heart in me. 

What does it matter, although they shall tear it? 

What does it matter, although they shall trample it, 

Or if it break and die? 

The trampled heart shall be a bridge for forward-going 


The torn heart shall be a sign for torn hearts to follow, 
A light raised up on high 
You gave bread to the poor, my mother, 
I go to give my heart. 


THE War-God wakened drowsily; 
There were gold chains about his hands; 
He said, " And who shall reap my lands 
And bear the tithes to Death for me? 

The nations stilled my thunderings 
They wearied of my steel despair, 
The flames from out my burning hair 
Shall there be ending of these things ? " 

Low laughed the Earth, and answered, " When 
Was any changeless law I gave 
Changed by my sons intent to save, 
By puny pitying hands of men ? 

I have no gifts for some I bear. 

The swarming hungering overflow 

Of crowding millions doomed to go 

They shall destroy, who chained you there. 

For some bright stone or shining praise 
They stint a million bodies' breath 
And send the women shamed to death 
And will the men brief length of days: 

The War-God 53 

They kill the bodies soon for me 
And kill the souls you gave to peace 
You were more merciful than these, 
Old master of my cruelty. 

Lo, souls are spoiled and virtues dim; 
Rise from the silence suddenly, 
Take back thy scourge of ministry, 
Lest these still take Death's toll to him ! " 

The War-God snapped his golden chain ; 
His mercies thundered down the world, 
And lashing battle-lines unfurled 
Scourged through the crouching lands again : 

The grinding wheels of Greed and Lust 
Checked clean was Pestilence, clean Death, 
And clean to God rose the last breath 
From broken bodies in the dust. 


" WE have made them fools and weak ! " said the 

Strong Ones, 
" We have bound them, they are dumb and deaf and 

We have crushed them in our hands like a heap of 

crumbling sands, 

We have left them naught to seek or find : 
They are quiet at our feet ! " said the Strong Ones, 
" We have made them one with wood and stone and 

Serf and laborer and woman, they are less than wise 

or human! " 
"I shall raise the weak!" saith God. 

" They are stirring in the dark ! " said the Strong 

" They are struggling, who were moveless like the 

We can hear them cry and strain hand and foot against 

the chain, 

We can hear their heavy upward tread. . . . 
What if they are restless ? " said the Strong Ones, 

" What if they have stirred beneath the rod? 
Fools and weak and blinded men, we can tread them 

down again " 

"Shall ye conquer Me?" saith God. 

God and the Strong Ones 55 

" They are evil and are brutes ! " said the Strong Ones, 

" They are ingrates of the ease and peace we give, 
We have stooped to them in grace and they mock us 
to our face 

How shall we give light to them and live ? 
They are all unworthy grace ! " said the Strong Ones, 

" They that cowered at our lightest look or nod " 
" This that now ye pause and weigh of your grace may 
prove one day 

Mercy that ye need!" saith God. 

" They will trample us and bind ! " said the Strong 

"We are crushed beneath the blackened feet and 

All the strong and fair and great they will crush from 

out the state, 
They will whelm it with the weight of pressing 

They are maddened and are blind ! " saith the Strong 


" Black decay has come where they have trod, 
They will break the world in twain if their hands are 

on the rein " 
" What is that to me? " saith God. 

" Ye have made them in their strength, who were 

Strong Ones, 

Ye have only taught the blackness ye have known; 
These are evil men and blind? Ay, but molded to 

your mind! 
How shall ye cry out against your own? 

56 God and the Strong Ones 

Ye have held the light and beauty I have given 
Far above the muddied ways where they must plod, 

Ye have builded this your lord with the lash and with 

the sword 
Reap what ye have sown!" saith God. 



I HAVE my little thoughts for comforters ; 

They run by me all day, 
Holding up scented memory that stirs 

My dull accustomed way: 

They murmur of green lanes we used to go 

(For here the Spring forgets 
To set the roadways thick with grass, and sow 

The paths with violets:) 

Here the loud city crashes, and all words 

Echo and scream and cry, 
Yet there were lake-sounds once (they tell) and birds 

Called from a twilit sky: 

There still a sweet wind strokes the slumberers 

And the cool grass waves deep. . . . 
I have my little thoughts for comforters, 

Who whisper me to sleep. 



THE foolish dream is torn now, that clung about my 

The wistful dream and ruthless, the blinding dream 

and sweet, 

And I shall choose my path now as any freeman may, 
And find the track of sunlight, and seek the path of 

And I shall challenge lightheart all good and evil 

That fate may send to face me in wildfoot wander- 

And I shall hasten singing, and know that there may 

For me the rainbow's gold-heap between the hill and 

There shall be voices laughing along the way I go, 
And feet to dance with my feet, that no more wander 

And clinging hands in my hands, that loose without 

And careless love and light love, and kisses I forget. 

The foolish dream is gone now, my feet and heart 
are free, 


The Captive 61 

And yet my slow steps linger, my heart lags wearily 
Oh, hasten, feet imprisoned! Oh, chainless heart, be 

fleet ! 
For oh, the dream is ruthless for oh, the dream is 



WHERE the patient oxen were, by the ass's stall, 
Watching my Lord's manger knelt the waking cattle 


'Twas a little country maid vigil by Him kept 
All among the country things my good Lord slept. 
Fair was Rome the city on that early Christmas morn, 
Yet among the country-folk was my Lord born ! 

Country-lads that followed Him, blithe they were and 


It was only city-folk were hard to Him and blind : 
Ay, He told of lilies, and of grain and grass that grew, 
Fair things of the summer fields my good Lord knew, 
By the hedgerows' flowering there He laid His head 
It was in the country that my Lord was bred. 

When the cross weighed down on Him, on the grievous 

'Twas a kindly countryman raised my good Lord's 

load ; 

Peasant-girls of Galilee, folk of Nazareth, 
These were fain to follow Him down the ways of 

Yea, beyond a city wall, underneath the sky, 
Out in open country did my good Lord die. 


A Country Carol 63 

When He rose to Heaven on that white Ascension day 
Last from open country did my good Lord pass away ; 
Rows of golden seraphim watched where He should 


Yet it was the country-folk had my Lord's farewell : 
Out above the flowered hill, from the mossy grass, 
Up from open country did my good Lord pass. 

Where the jeweled minsters are, where the censers 

There they kneel to Christ the Lord on this His bear- 
ing-day : 

But I shall stay to greet Him where the bonny fields 

Like the fields that once my good Lord wandered in, 

Where His thorn-tree flowered once, where His spar- 
rows soared, 

In the open country-land of my good Lord ! 


A RED wreath of the Singing Leaves 

I carry up and down, 
And some, they call it a cap-and-bells, 

Some say it is a crown. 

And they who call it cap-and-bells 

Mock when I pass them by, 
And they who call it a diadem 

Would set me throned on high. 

But none will speak me brotherly, 

Or clasp me, hand with hand, 
Because of the wreath of the Singing Leaves 

I carry through the land : 

And yet there's neither cap-and-bells 

Nor diadem I wear, 
Only the wreath of the Singing Leaves 

That God has made me bear ! 



MY love that dwelt in London, 

She sent me word to say 
That I should speed to greet her 

Before she went away: 
O fast I hastened to her 

As feet and heart could fly, 
But she was fled to a far townland 

Ere ever I could come nigh. 
To God's Town, where 'tis weary to follow, 

there had she gone, 

To God's Town, that is west o the sunset. 
And east o' the dawn! 

My love that dwelt in London, 

1 broke the roses red, 
And daisies white and yellow, 

To wind about her head, 
But ere I had them gathered, 

And woven in a ring, 
She was weaving wreaths on the lawns o' Heaven 

In sight of the Holy King. 
In God's Town, where lives many a maiden, 

O then was she there, 
In God's Town, with a ring of gold glory 

Above her gold hair! 

66 The Ballad of God's Town 

My love that dwelt in London, 

She sewed her wedding-gown, 
All shaped of silks and satins, 

With laces hanging down, 
But when they set it on her, 

O very still was she, 
And she wore it into the far townland 

Ere ever she married me. 
In God's Town, O 'tis there I shall wed her, 

While all the saints sing, 
In God's Town, where the silver-clad angels 

Shall cry welcoming! 


I HAVE heard calling of birds 
Where no birds are now : 
Now there is only 
Dusk and a silence : 
Only a swift wind hunting 
Over the lightless lake, 
Over the shuddering water 
After the day gone. . . . 
Only the chill and the dread 
Of the silence. 

I cannot think of the sky, 

Golden-lilac and rose, 

Crossed by the small dark birds 

An hour ago: 

I cannot remember now 

Here in the darkening, 

Olive and rose of the lake 

Crossed by the dipping wings, 

Glimmering friendly water. . . . 

Only the merciless dusk 

And the silence. 


" WAKE ! " call the birds that cry 

Down the light lashing breeze, 
While the spring waters stir, 

Loosen and leap : 
" It is too long you lie 

Under the tossing trees 
Dreamer and wanderer, 

Waken from sleep ! " 

Life was a flame in you, 

Thrilling and wondering, 
You were a calling song, 

You were a light, 
Joy was your passing through 

Our lives' unchanging ring 
How may you now so long 

Lie still in night ? 

Are you still sleeping there, 

Dreamer and wanderer ? 
All the Spring courses wild, 

Ardent and deep; 
Once you were swift to fare 

At the young year's first stir 
Dreamer and wanderer, 

Waken from sleep ! 


MY brothers for their part 
Were given gold and fame, 

But all my share was a merry heart, 
Wild as a dancing flame; 

Oh, earth is dark with gold, 
And every wind that blows 

Sets flying dusty fame of old 
Withered, that no man knows ; 

But Joy is dear, men say, 

Laughter is far to find, 
Few are the dancing hearts to-day, 

Merry and mad and blind. 

What do I need of state, 
Of fame or golden store ? 

Beggars of joy my brothers wait 
Weary beside my door ! 

Then let them pace apart, 

Poor with their fame and fee 
Lord o' the world, my merry heart 

Ranges the roads with me! 



THERE is dark water drenching through our days, 

White-fingered, beckoning, 
Washing from us all flame of love that stays, 

All warmth of hands that cling : 

There are no hearts but love us to their loss, 

No souls that ours shall keep, 
Whose hearts the tingling breakers flood across, 

Whose souls the sea-winds sweep: 

The earth lies waiting wide-armed in the sun, 

Self-given, drowsy, mild, 
We seek the love still cruel, still unwon, 

Wind-glimmering and wild : 

And though she draw us where her deep heart lies 

Still shall we find her fair, 
Feeling her kiss upon our closing eyes, 

Her spray-touch on our hair. 



I CAN remember once, ere I was dead, 
The sorrow and the prayer and bitter cry 

When they who loved me stood around the bed, 
Watching till I should die: 

They need not so have grieved their souls for me, 
Grouped statue-like to count my failing breath- 
Only one thought strove faintly, bitterly 
With the kind drug of Death : 

How once upon a time, unwept, unknown, 
Unhelped by pitying sigh or murmured prayer, 

My youth died in slow agony alone 
With none to watch or care. 


LAST night I cannot know which way it came 

Or what star-way it went 
There was a little dream without a name 

That left my soul content; 

I have forgotten any words it said 
And all its starry-raptured picturings, 

I only feel the errant joy that fled 
And fanned me with its wings; 

There was no memory when morning broke, 
No echo-call from fairy field or hill, 

Only my heart was singing while it woke, 
And sings for gladness still ! 


MUST I always sing at the walls to hearten the men 

who fight 
In causes changeful as wind and as brief as a summer 

night ; 

Must I always praise the wisdom of Man who is blind, 

Of kings who are kings for a day and are dead when 

the day is dead; 

Of right that is wrong to-morrow, of truths that were 

last year's lies, 
Of little strifes and upbuildings that die when a nation 


For Rome is withered, and Hellas; but leaves in the 

wind bow still 
As they bowed for my brother's dreaming who sang 

by some dead god's hill, 

And all Assyria's captains are dead with the dead 

they made, 
Dust of the gyve and anklet with dust of the casque 

and blade, 


74 Uplift 

But wonderful dreams blow still in the swirl of gray 

smoke new-gone 
As they blew from a fire at twilight for my brother 

in Ascalon ; 

And all of the mighty walls men have reared to sweep 

down again 
Are thwarted shadows of visions some poet spun far 

from men. 

I am tired of praising the deeds that are brief as a 

breath may be, 
That change with the mocking turn of a day or a 

century : 

I will go and spin useless dreams that shall last until 

men are hurled 
Out into the space of the Timeless with ash of a 

burning world! 



IT was a singing hour, when little winds 
And fresh-blown sunlight quivered on the leaves, 
And lilac-fronds hung scented thrillingly, 
And all was glad as singing-birds are glad 
My wild heart glad with all the things of June. 

And then . . . there was a curtain suddenly 
Drawn black against all gentle sense-delights, 
And my heart broke with darkness weighing it, 
And I lay sobbing on the jeweled grass 
As if there were no morning any more. . . . 

And then my heart asked through its sobbing, 


For this is June, and I am young and glad, 
And there is nothing grievous in the world 
That hurts me nearly, or could burden me ! " 

Then a voice tolled from out the aching dark 
That clutched my inner soul-sense terribly ; 

" Across five seas and three green continents 
One whom your mind and body never knew. 
But whom your soul loved immemorially, 
Died, on this hour that you lie weeping here, 
Not in the same world with you any more ! " 



Now you know they were never true, 
Promises that your heart made you 
Long ago when the world was young. 

Down the woodland where Youth rode maying 
Wild birds sang what the heart was saying, 
High and low as the bough was swung. 

" Love and gold for the choice of taking, 

Beauty's kiss for the cost of waking " 

(Still they sang as the heart had sung!) 

" All great deeds of the wise men's planning 
Stay for you where the rainbow's spanning 
Dips its end where the dews are strung; 

All fair dreams that a heart may follow 
Wait with dusk by the flowered hollow, 
Sweet and close as the star low-hung." 

Youth and Spring, how they lied together! 
How they sang in the wind-kissed weather, 
Down the wood where the wild birds clung! 

(Yet they surely are somewhere true, 
Promises that your heart made you, 
Long ago when the world was young!) 



SHE moves from gate to door, 
From door to window-seat, 
To porch and board and bed, 
Content with ease and heat, 
With little news-words said, 
With long-known wall and floor 
She speaks of her fine youth 
Gently, complacently 
The lovers that she had, 
As I have lovers now, 
And how her heart was glad 
And foolish, too, as mine! 

Oh, yet it hurts my throat, 
I feel my lids smart keen 
Pity for this short round, 
For that strong youth of hers 
That hoped so much should be, 
And now is this nor cares 
Pity for her and me ! 

I am what she has been, 
What she is I shall be! 



WHEN Life gives over laughter and singing 

And Love's no more in rhyme, 
And the world goes dull in my old ears ringing 

And slow my feet with time; 

Then my good gray soul may go seeking and flying 

On high above roads on earth 
When my heart gives over laughter and crying, 

Passion and pain and mirth! 

But now my heart beats merrily wild, 

My feet would dance their fill, 
And heaviest prayers the white saints piled 

Never could keep them still 

When I shall be old and quiet and gray 
There's time to be hushed and bow 

I may have a soul in that dim day, 
But oh, not now, not now ! 



I WILL make songs of lovers who have found each 

other's arms, 

Of love fulfilled from the ends of the earth, unbe- 
lievably won, 
Of old dreams true in the daytime, crowned perfect 

beyond alarms 

(Tears will keep to the end of the day, when all 
songs are done.) 

I will make songs of laughter, of cities of mirth and 

That men may pass and believe me, smiling as they 

go by, 
And bend more blithe to their toiling, hope-filled and 


(Grief can wait till the folk have gone home and 
the echoes die.) 

I will make songs of fulfilment, of claspings in warmth 

and light, 
To hearten the folk who are merry, to comfort the 

folk who weep, 
Of joy beyond all lamenting, of sunshine beyond all 


(Ah soon, ah soon may I slip to the dark and lie 
down to sleep ! ) 



A FRIEND of mine is dead at length to-day 

(O sooner than I thought she could have died!) 

And I must go the rest of Life's long way 
Without her at my side. 

She was so gay, so glad of wind and sun, 
Of mirth, of love, all sweet earth-things that 
shine. . . . 

I scarcely know how living may be done 
Without this friend of mine : 

Yet I must smile as if the world was fair, 

I must not veil my eyes or hush rny tread. . . . 

One must not grieve, or seem to know or care 
When only Youth is dead. 



WHERE shall we find Thee where art Thou, O God? 
For Thou hast taken away our signs from us, 
Discredited the guides we thought from Thee, 
And we have only left to show the way 
A voice the wavering voice that cries in us 
Once in a long, long while, when soul and sense 
Clasp for a moment, and Thy light shines through : 
We can be only sure of one thing now, 
Our little fevered hearts that endlessly 
Toss up and down upon the waves of the world 
Where shall we find Thee? Where art Thou, O God? 

Where shall we find Thee? Where art Thou, O God? 
Thou who perhaps may yet be, not now made, 
Thou who perhaps hast been and art not now, 
Thou whose last echoings across our hearts 
Perhaps may not be known or wondered of 
By our young children Thou, our God of old, 
God of Forever! Speak to us again! 
Give us some little loving sign again 
That we may see Thee through the glass of it, 
Come in some kindly human shape we know ; 
Our eyes are dazzled now with staring long 
Through bleak, bright lights unknown, unhumanized; 
Thy love seems not for us, it shines so high, 
Not such as we can dare exchange with Thee! 
Where can we find Thee? Where art Thou, O God? 


84 Search 

When I shall take away your lights from you, 
My little silver spinning coin, the moon, 
My little burning beat of time, the sun, 
And all My life and yours have passed beyond 
To whirling chains of planets not yet more 
Than Hying vapors now still I shall be 
And ye shall be with Me. 


GOD holds, God guides, God keeps : 

St. Francis' God, and Buddha's : still the same 
He who made Plato as a pure wind sweeps, 

Paul as a piercing flame: 

He is the Peace we crave, 

He is the Life ; we pause and breathe it not : 
He is the Wonder of the Thought that gave 

Life's radiance half-forgot: 

The old creeds crash apart, 

Break in our tired, entreating hands, and fall : 
God, the Encircling Fire, the Eternal Thought, 

Is over all. 


LET me not know, dear gods ! 

Send me your Lie divine, 
Firing to gold the clods, 

Making the darkness shine! 

Who in the lifeless wind 
Hear mighty spirits bless, 

Shall follow, great of mind, 
That call to mightiness ; 

Who seek as by a star 

Where mocking marsh-lights ride 
Shall build men roadways far 

Where none has dared beside ; 

Who follow, from of old 

Far-riding on the quest, 
The Lie, the Vision gold, 

Mirage, white mercy, rest, 

Shall shelter warm and glad 

In high dream-palaces, 
Unwise, mist-blinded, mad 

Yet ah the peace of these ! 


The Divine Lie 87 

O gods, yourselves a lie, 

Bind ye mine eyes more fast 
Help me to build on high 

Your Lie, men's Truth at last! 


YOUNG life and laughter echo in the dawn ; 

All the light winds lace sun rays through the trees 
I had been holding some enchanted lawn 

Or racing toward some tourney down the breeze, 
Could I return into the days long gone. 

I hold no fellowship with days like these 
Since Arthur sleepeth in Avilion : 
All of adventure and of mirth is done 
Since Arthur sleepeth in Avilion. 

Through the deep wood winds clear a silver horn. . . 

Only the note of young King Constantine, 
Hunting the fallow deer along the morn ; 

Ay, he is brave and one of Arthur's line, 
And yet he seeks not holy Cup or Thorn; 

Lost and forgotten is the Grail's white shrine 
Since Arthur sleepeth in Avilion : 
Of fay-born heroes there remaineth none 
Since Arthur sleepeth in Avilion. 

No more the swift Lake-Ladies, passing by, 
Weave spells for men they love; for Nimue 

Passed ere she saw her lord King Pelleas die, 
And in some mist-hung woodland far away 

Does Vivien that guards old Merlin lie, 
And here no sweet enchantments hold to-day 

The Last Knight 89 

Since Arthur sleepeth in Avilion : 

Spells are as shadows of a last year's sun 

Since Arthur sleepeth in Avilion. 

What should I care that Bedivere is dead, 
Or mourn for Ector's death? I fain would die. 

My last-left comrade, few morns buried, 
May be more near unto our king that I. . 

Yet since he passed so many years have fled 
That surely his returning must be nigh, 

Surely he waketh in Avilion! 

What should I do, whose heart of youth is done, 

Though Arthur cometh from Avilion? 


IN blood and martyr-fire 

My fathers fused their chain ; 
They left to me the soul's desire, 

The need to seek again, 
To break the truths they held, 

To see alone, and know, 
Though night may bend above the end 

Of every path I go. 

My fathers sought and found 

They saw gold Heaven glow 
Beyond the fires that swept them round- 

I shall not find nor know; 
Past reach of voice or sight 

I follow my soul's cry, 
That seeks some spark beyond that dark 

Where coiling horrors lie. 

Folk house in their warm creeds ; 

I follow shelterless 
My waking soul that still must needs 

Fare on through her distress ; 
Folk wonder, through their sleep 

Rebuking that I fare 
In wind and rain of doubt and pain, 

In cold of long despair. 

The Follower 91 

I may not bind mine eyes 

With any silken dream; 
I may not pause for light that lies 

On earthly field or stream ; 
I seek Truth endlessly, 

Knowing if I should claim 
Once the high grace to see her face, 

I should not know her name. 


THEY bade me follow fleet 

To my brothers' work and play, 

But the Cloak of Dreams blew over my feet, 
Tangling them from the way : 

They bade me watch the skies 

For a signal-dark or light, 
But the Cloak of Dreams blew over my eyes, 

Shutting them fast from sight : 

I have nor pain nor mirth, 

Suffering nor desire 
The Cloak of Dreams 'twixt me and earth 

Wavers its filmy fire: 

I dream in dusk apart, 

Hearing a strange bird sing, 
And the Cloak of Dreams blows over my heart, 

Blinding and sheltering! 


GOD does not give us, when our youth is done, 

Any such dower as we thought should be: 

We are not strong, not crowned with moon or sun ; 

We are not gods nor conquerors: life's sea 

Has not rolled back to let our feet pass through. . . . 

And if one great desire, long-hoped, came true 

Some gift long-hungered for, some starry good, 

Some crowning we desired, 

It had lost all its pageant-wonderhood : 

A wonted thing, enveiled no more in flame, 

Dully it came 

Its winning has not made our feet less tired. 

We are so near the same 

Our mirrors saw in youth ! 

Not very wise : in truth 

Not nobler than we were those years ago ; 

We have to show 

Only a handful of such little things 

As our high-thoughted youth 

Had named of little worth. 

Only ... the gift to feel 
In little looks of praise, 
In words, in sunny days, 
A pleasantness, a mirth 

94 Gifts 

Joy in a bird's far wings, 

Pleasure in flowers breaking out of earth, 

In a child's laughter, in a neighbor's smile; 

And in all quiet things 

Peace for awhile. 

And one more gift to smile, content to see 
Ay, to be very glad seeing alight on high 
The stars we wanted for our jewelry 
Still clear ashine . . . still in the sky. 



THE lizards scamper wild 
Below the purple clover 

I am so young a child, 
So young I have no lover. 

My sheep stray up and down, 

Alone I stray behind 
Over the sea in Sardis town 

Friends are not far to find 

My feet go bare in sun, 
Go bare in dust and cold 

Over the hills in Babylon 
Shoes are of silk and gold 

A flute calls clear and wild 

Where the green hills curve over- 
Am I too young a child, 
Too young to have a lover ? 



IN the dark my mother wakes me 

Sighing, " Ah, my heart will grieve 
When my little one forsakes me ! " 

In the light my locks she dresses, 

Sighing, stoops in braids to weave 
All my purple-flowing tresses: 

And when moon-rays shine most brightly 

Then she winds my girdlestead, 
Sighing as she ties it tightly 

In the dark my mother's weeping 

For the time when I shall wed 
Ah ! the time so slow in creeping ! 




OH moon with eyes of blue, 
Say if my love be true! 
Oh moon with eyes of blue, 
Watcher of happy lovers! 

At night the willows flow 
Like the dark hair I know, 
And all the winds that blow 
Whisper of happy lovers : 

Along the opal stream 
Silver the lilies gleam, 
And women stray and dream 
Waiting to greet their lovers: 

I only crouch afar 
Where the black branches are, 
And hide from moon and star 
Shining on happy lovers. . . . 

Oh moon with eyes of blue, 
Grant that my love be true! 
Oh moon with eyes of blue, 
Guardian of parted lovers! 


SHADOW of the woodland, have you seen my sweet- 
Slipping through your sleepy leaves before the break 

of day? 

She had brown hair flowing and a green gown blowing 

And eyes ever backward as she went upon her way. 

" I have seen your sweetheart ere the red dawn's 

Like a slim bird of silence she fled down 'along 

my track 

Past my dawn-birds' calling to the river's falling, 
But she went on swiftly, and she looked not back." 

Ripple of the river, have you seen my sweetheart, 

Wading in your sleepy sedges ere the sun was high ? 
Does she wait me, hiding where your reeds are riding, 

Laughing at my wonderment as I go seeking by ? 
" I have seen your sweetheart at the bright sun's rising, 
But she paused not a moment where my brown reeds 


And my buds are broken for her passing's token 
Where she hastened singing toward the king's high- 


Song: Shadow of the Woodland 101 

Winding of the highway, have you seen my sweetheart 
Running down your golden ribbon while the sun 

was strong, 

Does she linger, turning in the hot sun's burning, 
And pause to wait my coming when the way seems 


" I have seen your sweetheart in the hot sun's shining, 
But she paused not to hear your step or wait your 


And she left my paving at the gold flags' waving, 
And her fleet feet bore her to the palace of the 

Portal of the palace, have you seen my sweetheart, 
Withered weeds about her hair and dust along her 


Was she frightened, flying at the daylight's dying, 
My little weary country maid astray within the 


" Ay, I saw your sweetheart at the even's falling, 
But she walked not in weariness nor fled along in 

For her breast-lace was golden and her hair jewel- 


And the King's arms were girdlestead round about 
her waist ! " 



THE night drags by ; how far the stars away ! 
How far from me love's warm, forgetful day ! 
Long past the shore where in wind and rain I wander 
Laughing they have vanished, happy lovers hand-in- 


I all alone in the rain of the morning 
Write my songs upon the sand. 

The year goes by ; how swift my beauty goes ! 
How fast they fall, the petals of the rose ! 
Long since the one whom I loved has all- forgotten, 
Leaning down to other lips or laid in earth asleep: 
I all alone in the rain of the morning 
Make of him my songs and weep. 

The wet leaves bow with falling rills of rain, 
The water trails its furrows on the plain: 
Long past this little life I bear my songs shall echo, 
Laughing they shall sing them, happy lovers hand-in- 


I here at peace in the rain in the morning 
Write my songs upon the sand. 




NOT unto the forest not unto the forest, O my lover ! 

Why do you lead me to the forest? 
Joy is where the temples are 
Lines of dancers swinging far 

Drums and lyres and viols in the town 

(It is dark in the forest) 
And the flapping leaves will blind me 
And the clinging vines will bind me 

And the thorny rose-boughs tear my saffron gown 

And I fear the forest. 

Not unto the forest not unto the forest, O my lover! 

Long since one led me to the forest. . . . 
Hand in hand we wandered mute 
Where was neither lyre nor flute 

Little stars were bright above the dusk 
And the thickets of wild rose 
Breathed across our lips locked close 

Perfumings of spikenard and musk. . . . 

I am tired of the forest. 

Not unto the forest not unto the forest, O my lover ! 

Take me from the silence of the forest ! 
I will love you by the light 
And the beat of drums at night 


104 Not Unto the Forest 

And the echoing of laughter in my ears, 

But here in the forest 
I am still, remembering 
A forgotten, useless thing, 
And my eyelids are locked down for fear of 

tears. . . . 
There is memory in the forest. 



SLEEP, I have sent to Sardis for thy toys 
And for thy silken robes to Babylon, 

Sleep, I will give thee all the gold world's joys, 
Thou shalt be daughter to the eastern sun. 

Sleep, lest he call thee ere thy rest is done 
Lifting his golden rose from sea and shore, 

Back to the water I will sell the sun, 
Slave in the eastern deep forevermore. 

Sleep, all the boughs that wave above thy head 
They shall be palace-walls to shelter thee : 

Sleep, all the moss shall be a cushion spread 
Made all of velvet for thy tapestry. 

Sleep : who one day shalt know as I have known 
How feels a woman's heart within thy breast, 

Wilt thou have earth and all its joys star-sown, 
Or the white gods, to give thee better rest? 



UNDER dusky laurel leaf, 

Scarlet leaf of rose, 
I lie prone, who have known 

All a woman knows 

Love and grief and motherhood, 
Fame and mirth and scorn; 

These are all shall befall 
Any woman born. 

Jewel-laden are my hands, 

Tall my stone above; 
Do not weep that I sleep 

Who was wise in love : 

Where I walk a shadow gray 
Through gray asphodel, 

I am glad, who have had 
All that Life could tell. 




THESE are the woods where my heart held fast 
Shadow -green silence and lonely grace; 

Now they are only a way you passed, 
Leaving an empty place; 

These are my sea-birds that circled wide, 

Bearing my thoughts from the dust of things 

Only the wish to be by your side 
Lifts on their lagging wings ; 

This is my world that was once so sweet, 

All of itself in the morning dew, 
Now it is only a road for your feet, 

A sheltering-place for you ! 



WE fear each other too much for lovers, 
We love each other too much for friends 

This is a known thing the heart discovers : 
Surely an old tale ends ! 

Was yours the sin by the sunken sea, 

Beneath dead stars of that old strange sky. 

Or in some far life will you pardon me 
For wrongs of that life gone by? 



Is there nowhere left a spot 
Where the thought of you is not? 
I have sought it everywhere, 
Woods and waters, field and air 

Water infinitely blue, 

Where the sunlight echoes through, 

Only brings the memory after 

Of your eyes that hide sweet laughter: 

In the poignant flutes, and thin 
Tense sweets of the violin 
Thrills the thought of you, along 
All the passion of the song : 

I have tried to think on Heaven, 
White-clad angels, souls forgiven 
What are all such holy things? 
Only thoughts of you with wings ! 



IF you should tire of loving me 

Some one of our far days, 
Oh, never start to hide your heart 

Or cover thought with praise. 

For every word you would not say 
Be sure my heart has heard, 

So go from me all silently 
Without a kiss or word; 

For God must give you happiness. . . . 

And oh, it may befall 
In listening long to Heaven-song 

I may not care at all ! 


You, whom my love encompasses about, 
Shutting you close, around you like a wall, 

How can you pass unheeding in and out, 
Not knowing it at all ? 

You, against whom my love throbs like the sea, 
Steadily, fierce, unceasing in its beat, 

How can you let it pulse unknowingly, 
Nor feel it at your feet ? 

You, upon whom my heart feeds like a flame, 
Circling you round, secluding you apart. . . 

Surely one day the fires that kiss your name 
Shall burn into your heart! 



I WENT through the woodland 
And down the wet dew 

All of the woodland 
Was tangled with you. 

A little bird whistled 

Notes water-clear, free 

" That was the bird-note 
He hearkened with me " 

The berry-vines threw me 
Their scarlet and brown 

" Those were the briars 
He stripped from my gown " 

The trees bent to give me 

Their solitude vast 
" Those were the branches 

He brushed as he passed " 

I fled the green woodland, 
I passed the wet dew 

'All of the wide world 
Is tangled with you! 


You broke my heart when I was young, 
Caressing eyes and mocking tongue, 
Till my young nights of suffering 
I sought to soothe, with visioning 
Some triumph-hour when I should come 
With flaunting fame of flag and drum 
To mock your heart, that would not yield 
Once in our wind-blown daisy-field : 
So you should shade your eyes, and sigh 
(Hearing the fame of me go by) 
" This is that love I would not keep ! " 
And close your door, and run to weep. 

But now that mine old dream is true 
I have no will to mock at you, 
For very good that old day seems 
When I could feel such flaming dreams 
And bear a hea*t so wild, and seize 
Such glories from such agonies: 
(For in this world where now I wake 
Men do not deal in hearts that break). . . 
And if I turned to seek you still 
How should I tell which low green hill 
Holds you enfortressed, deaf and blind 
To horn or banner on the wind? 


Now that you are gone, loving hands, loving lips, 

Now I can go back to Love : 
I can free my soul that was kissed to eclipse, 

I can fling my thoughts above, 
I can run and stand in the wind, on the hill, 

Now that I am lone and free 
Whistle through the dusk and the cleansing chill 

All my red-winged dreams to me. 

I had dreamed of Love like a wind, like a flame, 

I had watched for Love a star : 

That was never Love that you brought when you 

Silver chain and golden bar! 
I was swathed with Love like a veil, like a cloak, 

I was bound with Love a shroud. . . . 
All my red-winged dreams flew away when you spoke, 

Dreams I dared not call aloud! 

They are waiting still in the hush, in the light, 

Morning-wind and leaves and dew, 
Whisper of the grass, of the waves, of the night, 

Things I gave away for you 
I can speed my soul to its old wonderlands, 

Free my wild heart's wings from chain 
Now that you are gone, loving lips, loving hands, 

I can go to Love again ! 



THE fire and reality of thought 

That burned across my brain 
Made me play more intensely than I ought 

Had I wished to gain. 

It is all of it very long ago, 

And I am very tired, . . . 
But I gave or I recollect it so 

More than she desired. 

But all of my nights are cool again, 

My days pass stilly by: 
There is only a little piercing pain 

When our sea-birds cry. 



POOR little rose-flushed Juliet is dead, 

The child First Love and dead upon her tomb 

Lies sun-bright Youth, who, seeking through the 


Where the flamed Hopes had darkened, found her bed. 
Old doting World's Morality hath said 

Her last shrill words within the narrow room ; 

No more the Friar Conscience speaks a doom 
Or is to brief and sad relentings led : 
For Youth and First Love may not wakened be 

Where they lie locked and lifeless all alone, 
Nor care that where their certainties pulsed wild 

World's Wisdom and World's Passions hopelessly 
Clasp hands above the new-raised burial-stone, 

And pace down Life's tired pageant, reconciled. 



THE Spring will come when the year turns, 

As if no Winter had been, 
But what shall I do with a locked heart 

That lets no new year in? 

The birds will go when the Fall goes, 
The leaves will fade in the field, 

But what shall I do with an old love 
Will neither die nor yield? 

Oh ! youth will turn as the world turns, 
And dim grow laughter and pain, 

But how shall I hide from an old dream 
I never may dream again ? 



GOING down the old way 
When the day's through, 

If I met my old love 
What should I do? 

Greet him with a light word, 

Pass with a sigh? 
Give pain for pain he gave 

In times gone by ? 

Nay laugh for happiness, 

Cling and forget 
How he left my heart sore 

And my eyes wet! 



I THOUGHT I had forgotten you, 
My old kind sweetheart, with the true 
Hurt eyes I saw unchangingly 
Till time had built a peace for me. 

But some one said, and sighed, last night, 
Some little foolish thing and light 
That you were used to say, and sigh, 
When all the world was you and I : 

And my smooth, vacant peace was gone 
Like a sea-mist winds blow upon. . . . 
Your true grieved eyes unchangingly 
Watch the tormented soul of me. 

The sharp repentances of old, 

That I was freed from, clutch and hold, 

Yet all my being cries again 

" Thank God! Thank God for the old pain! " 



(ROBERT BROWNING, 1812-1882) 

THERE have been weavers of song since the youth of 
the world was over: 

This was a singer, and strong and this was the Per- 
fect Lover! 

The world has said in its need since the work of the 

world began, 
" Fair is the song to heed, so what may we ask of the 

Praise for the song like flame what matter the folk 

that sing? 
Let them hold Duty a shame and Honor a foolish 

thing ! 
Words in a noble flood and if hearts shall be crushed 

There must be drops of blood for the gems of the 


But this man stood to his word; his life to his lyre 

rang true ; 
He held by his truths men heard the honor he praised 

he knew ; 


The Perfect Lover 123 

And where his torch burned high, with a steady, joyous 

He heard a wonderful cry that sang and sobbed in 

the dark. 
His strong hands stretched to the shade and lifted the 

white soul free, 

Close by him, unafraid, still chanting more perfectly: 
Down through her years till night still held they the 

great dream higher, 
Clear to the sad world's sight, a pulsing of star-white 


Aye, through his years alone of playing his brave 


Ever the star-fire shone as vestal-clear in his heart ; 
Changeless his faith and brave, and spaceless his steady 

Watching across her grave to a tryst in the unknown 

Light. . . . 

Loyal comrade and guide, most noble poet and friend, 
Yet beyond all beside true lover and knight to the end ! 

They shall weave song who can till the work of the 
world is over: 

But this was Singer and Man and this was the Per- 
fect Lover! 


CARNATIONS and my first love! And he was seven- 

And I was only twelve years a stately gulf between ! 
I broke them on the morning the school-dance was 

to be, 
To pin among my ribbons in hopes that he might 

see. . . . 
And all the girls stood breathless to watch as he came 

With curly crest and grand air that swept the heart 

from you ! 
And why he paused at my side is more than I can 


Shyest of the small girls who all adored him so 
I said it with my prayer-times: I walked with head 

held high : 
" Carnations are your flower! " he said as he strode by. 

Carnations and my first love! The years are passed 

a score, 
And I recall his first name, and scarce an eyelash 

more. . . . 
And those were all the love-words that either of us 


Perhaps he may be married perhaps he may be dead. 


Carnations 125 

And yet. ... To smell carnations, their spicy, heavy 


Perfuming all some sick-room, or passing on the street, 
Then . . . still the school-lamps flicker, and still the 

Lancers play, 
And still the girls hold breathless to watch him go his 

And still my child-heart quivers with that first 

" Carnations are your flower! " my first love says to 




THE House of Ghosts was bright within, 

Aglow and warm and gay, 
A place my own once loved me in, 

That is not there by day: 

My hound lay drowsing on the floor: 
From sunken graves returned 

My folk that I was lonely for 
Sat where the hearth-fire burned. 

There was no lightest echo lost 

When I undid the door, 
There was no shadow where I crossed 

The well-remembered floor. 

I bent to whisper to my hound 
( So long he had been dead ! ) 

He slept no lighter nor more sound, 
He did not lift his head. 

I brushed my father as I came ; 

He did not move or see 
I cried upon my mother's name ; 

She did not look at me. 

130 The House of Ghosts 

Their faces in the firelight bent, 
They smiled in speaking slow 

Of some old gracious merriment 
Forgotten years ago. 

I was so changed since they had died ! 

How could they know or guess 
A voice that plead for love, and cried 

Of grief and loneliness? 

Out from the House of Ghosts I fled 
Lest I should turn and see 

The child I had been lift her head 
And stare aghast at me ! 


PURE and bewildered spirit, what do you here to-day? 
Yours was a simpler country, a time more far away. 

Where the old gods were shattered there you upraised 

your Lord 
Stark on His cross a buckler betwixt red sword and 


Where your strong abbeys towered and your wide 

harvests smiled 
You kept the ward for Heaven, an outpost in the wild : 

On those long-perished uplands your sandaled foot- 
steps trod, 

You knew of seed and harvest, of fire and sword and 

You have known prayer and battle, bondage and 

But not this life's impassioned and sad complexities. 

Though where your meadows rippled and swung their 

heavy grain 
The twisted paven roadways a thousand years have 



132 The Old Soul 

Yet here, where no god conquers, where no firm foot- 
steps stand, 

Your eyes seek that lost Saviour and that old Father- 

Where the old saints stand singing, there does your 

soul belong, 
In Christ's fair jeweled Heaven of ecstasy and song, 

Or slaying with great laughter down the red endless 

In the old wild Valhalla of your strong gods forsworn ; 

But you stand here, a stranger, 'mid souls you cannot 

Meshed in their thoughts, and 'wildered with many 

paths to go. . . . 

What net of sense ensnared you from your hard purity 
And set you lost and seeking down this sad century? 

Surely for that dim sinning this exile must atone ! 
Rise, white and wandered spirit! Return unto thine 


I WISH there could have been, 
Strong, loyal, innocent, 
For one short hour alone, 
The You I dreamed to be : 
High watch on things unseen, 
Grave honor, pure intent 
Where is the white soul flown 
Who gave all these to me ? 

I would have made a grave 
For that immortal hour, 
For that immortal friend 
Still through the long years mine ; 
Purple arid gold should wave 
Thought-flower, passion-flower, 
Above it, to the end 
Comforting-place and shrine. 

But where that image stood 
Oh, there was never you ! 
(My heart, whence it is gone 
Knows a tired, empty pain) 
You were a dream, a mood, 
Dim, wavering, untrue, 
A ghost that passed at dawn 
And will not come again, 


I WISH that I might turn back 
On the Wonderful Country's track 
Where all o' the folk were wonder-wise 
And all o' the world was new, . . . 
Where apple-trees swept the moon 
And long as a year was June 
And just beyond the yellow road's rise 
Anything might come true! 

Your little red gate swung free 

From Home to the Endless Lands 

Where you always could find a Dream a-rhyme 

In azure or gold or blue, 

Where the Lady that You Would Be 

Stood waving her gold-ringed hands 

From out afar in that gracious time 

Where everything waited you ! 

Where any thrilled hour might show, 

Dim-framed in the river-glass, 

Shivering gleam of silver mail, 

(Lids half-low in the wood!) 

Spear upon spear arow, 

As swift as a shadow pass 

The glimmering Knights of the Holy Grail, 

Come succoring Robin Hood ! 


The Wonderful Country 135 

(Robin Hood? ... He was gone 
Just only a moment past ! 
Still you could hear the dreaming horn 
From over a neighbor's hill; 
Out from the Sherwood-lawn 
Afar and more sweet the blast 
Over the towers of Lincoln borne, 
Whispering silver-still!) 

Then was an easy way 

Through the reddening gates of Day : 

To the golden house of the Sun and Moon 

Was only an hour or so, 

Where the Sun and the Moon sat lone 

Great lords on their turquoise throne, 

And swift for the sake of a song you spun 

Would tell you the way to go: 

Where the curtseying Stars bent fair, 
And each from her silver chair 
('Twas all for the love of a tale you told 
Or a little earth-gift you gave) 
Would give to you brazen shoon 
And counseling birds of gold 
And even the Ivory Key for boon, 
That opened the Crystal Cave. . . . 

(There was only enchanted water 
To cross, and the Witch's Daughter 

136 The Wonderful Country 

To bribe with the golden egg o' the Sun 
And silver nuts o' the Moon : 
And a little old song to sing 
And a tear and your toiling done 
And wide awake the Enchanted King 
And the sorrowing over soon). . . . 

For any strange land to find 

By magical night or noon 

You had only to leap on the Red Fox's back 

And be over the green hill's brow 

More fast than the whistling wind. . . . 

Oh f I wish I could follow the track 

That leads by way of the Sun or the Moon 

To the Wonderful Country now! 


O WHAT is the gold wreath winding fair 

Just beyond Heaven-Gate? 
" That is a wreath of days you wove 

In an earth-life late." 

O what is the silver -flower that shines 
Making all Heaven more sweet f 

" That is the day when you laid your joys 
At another's feet." 

what is the heartsease gleaming brave, 

Purple and white and gold? 
" The day when you laid your heart's desire 

In another's hold." 

And what is the great red rose that burns 

Brighter than all beside? 
" That is the day when they broke your heart, 

And your warm youth died." 

But why do you sigh at Heaven-Gate, 

Spirit enthroned, forgiven ? 
" There is no fairer wreath than this 

In the fields of Heaven!" 


13 8 Recompense 

Ay, the wreath is fair for a saint to wear 
Through Heaven in joyful wise. . . . 

Yet, oh to have had one leaf on earth 
From my Paradise ! 


I HAVE seen many things ; 
My soul is an old soul now ; 
My soul is tired. 

Rulers of Life and Death, 

I have lived many lives; 

I should be fast asleep 

Where my old gods dream white 

With the souls I knew. 

Rulers of Life and Death, 
What did my tired soul do, 
Back in those friended times 
When I was with my own, 
That it must come again 
Here where no friend-soul is? 

For I have had dreams; 
Hushing, remembering. . . . 
Faces I knew, 
That left me, wakened. 

Rulers of Life and Death, 
I have atoned for all, 
All the forgotten sins, 
All of that long-dead wrong, 

140 The Estray 

Here in the loneliness, 
In the stranger-ways. . . , 

Rulers of Life and Death, 
Let me go sleep ! 


THEY say that the child is dead : 

It seems so strange to say, 

Though her mother has knelt and cried 

Where a Something white has slept 

In a coffin all to-day. . . . 

And here in the ordered gloom 

Of the heavy-scented room 

We have all of us looked and wept. . . . 

But just as the dark day cleared 

An instant at sunsetting 

And the wind blew fresh and wet 

From the rose-gold-rifted sky 

We heard a strange bird sing : 

Out on the lawn, leaf -piled, 

Thrillingly sweet we heard 

Rapturous, ceaseless, wild, 

A voice . . . like the yellow bird 

She mourned when last June was through 

And we rose up languidly 
From our grief in the dark, to see 
What bird could sing so late 
At our sorrow's very gate ! 

Over the withered leaves 
The child ran flashingly, 

142 There is Nothing Dead 

Laughing with living eyes 

Under her flying hair : 

And we heard her voice. She said : 

" There is nothing dead! " 

And forgotten butterflies 

Of an old June gleamed and swung, 

Wheeling about her hair. . . . 

And the dead bird sang on her hand 

(Only he was not dead) 

And the dry brown leaves flashed green 

Under her brushing tread 

An instant . . . but we had seen. . . . 

She was gone or our eyes were blind 

Only ... far off ... there cried 

Bird-song along the wind 

For a quivering instant more. . . . 

And the sound from out the door 
Of her mother's sobbing crept, 
For the Something white, that lay 
In its coffin all to-day 
" She is dead ! She is dead ! " it wept. . 
But it seemed so strange to say ! 


TWAS I that cried against the pane on All Souls' 

(O pulse o' my heart's life, how could you never 


You filled the room I knew with yellow candle-light 
And cheered the lass beside you when she prayed in 

'Twas I that touched your shoulder in the gray wood- 
(O core o' my heart's heart, how could you never 

know ?) 
You only frowned and shuddered as you bent and 

The lass hard by you, handfast, where I used to go. 

'Twas I that stood to greet you on the churchyard 

(O fire o' my heart's grief, how could you never 

You smiled in pleasant dreaming as you crossed my 


And crooned a little love-song where they buried 


I AM sick with the sorrows and the long complainings 

And the small fierce joys between; 
I will go to the place of the Forgetful People 

And make my tired heart clean. 

There's no hand of heaviness the heart is knowing, 

Where shadow-glimmering 
The careless feet of the Forgetful People 

Fall ever in a ring ; 

I shall not know what mournfulness the winds are 

To-night when dusk-winds rise; 
For the sleepy veils of the Forgetful People 

Will blow across my eyes ; 

My sorrows shall not dash me like a wave returning, 

With the sick morrow's morn 
There's no hope or grief with the Forgetful People, 

Nor any love nor scorn. 

I shall wander and laugh alone in empty places 

And watch on the wet ground 
The silent wind of the Forgetful People 

Whirling the brown leaves round; 

The Forgetful People 145 

And I shall feel no pain of all my wild heart's crying, 

Nor hurt of memory; 
For the stealing hands of the Forgetful People 

Will take my past from me. 


GOD and Saint Michael and Saint Catherine, 
Saint Raphael and white Saint Margaret, 
They are great Heaven-folk, and do not come 
From their clean golden thrones to this soiled earth 
For any little thing. They came to me. 
Ah, once indeed they came and France is freed. . . . 
I wish that I were freed, and spinning now 
Beside my mother in the door at home. 

I thought I might go home again and spin 
When I had done the task they set for me, 
The great white saints and angels, with their robes 
That shone like skies and water in the sun, 
And heavy jeweled aureoles that swung 
Behind their hair. . . . There is a little place, 
A smooth brown ground to dance a distaff on, 
Locked round by trees, hid thick from eyes that pass ; 
A still green sunny corner far away 
From crownings and from cities and from praise. 
Far too from my old Oak still memoried 
With cryings and with cryings out at dark. . . . 
Not Angels' voices Angels send you forth 
On long, long roads, to spur unwilling folk 
Who mock or worship, but are never friends, 
Yet Angels speak you graciously, like Lords. 
They would not be there now, nor anywhere. 


Jeanne D'Arc at Rheims 147 

Only the mocking evil Other Folk, 
Green-clad and swift, might wheel and cry to me, 
The Dancing People. I would never ftance, 
Not even in broad day, lest one should call, 
And whisper me to come. ... So many folk 
Not of this earth, cross softly at the dusk 
And cry to one to answer if one hears. 

" We of the Borderlands shall hold you fast 
Till you are given away to some of us, 
Come then to us who are the Dancing Folk, 
And will not hurt your heart with sorrowings ! " 
She cried so to me once across the dusk, 
Swaying and beckoning at the wood's edge, 
The green-clad girl who swung against the wind 
Like a leaf -screen in moonlight and black shade: 
" We of the Borderlands shall hold you thrall 
To your days' ending. Never think for you 
There shall be common carelessness nor peace. 
Come all this troubled world that wearies you 
Because it is so great, shall only be 
A little dancing-green for your swift feet 
Through many thousand turnings of the moon. 
You shall have mirth and music and still joy, 
And where your heart weighs there shall be a hush, 
A cool light silence that has all forgot 
But dancing and white moonrays ! " 

Oh, I screamed 

And clutched to find the crucifix I wore : 
I knew that what she willed to take from me 

148 Jeanne D'Arc at Rheims 

Was that earth-grief that is the human soul, 
The soul that aches so at the locking flesh, 
And suffers to be free. " Mary ! " I prayed, 
" Mary and Jesus ! " 

And the green-clad girl 
Cried out as if a knife had struck at her, 
" The Woman and her Son of the gray Sorrowings ! 
The Sorrows fly above their heads like birds, 
More sorrows and more sorrows for your heart 
That is too heavy now to care for joy ! " 

I cried more loud to Mary and the Saints; 

She moaned like a hurt child, and filmed like mist, 

Gone. . . . And I heard the Voices I obey, 

The ringing voice of Michael of the Sword, 

The gracious voice of grave Saint Catherine, 

That I have followed. . . . Do they all forget? 

A thousand years up there is like a day, 

The priest said once. And then a peasant-lass 

The more or less to such great Saints as they 

" Can she not stay alone," perhaps they said, 

" One little hour without our whisperings ? " 

For all the harps of Heaven ring merrily, 

And time is swift when one has joy to know ; 

The Voices are all gone. . . . First I was glad 

When the last echo faded. High and clear 

And silver-certain as a bugle-call 

They sped me, and I followed ay, and France, 

France follows too ! And now my King is crowned. 

But now how shall I follow oh, how guide, 

Jeanne D'Arc at Rheims 149 

With only wavering clatter of these lords 
Who keep me here to be a tool for them ? 

I sought to bring before my eyes last night, 

That were so tired with glinting gold and steel, 

A picture of some pleasant year to come 

When I should be forgotten, and let go, 

And my own people had forgotten too, 

And let me move among them as of old : 

(" Ay, a good girl/' they said, " and scrupulous 

To do her daily work. Too still, maybe, 

And more a dreamer than is good for maids, 

But not too light-heart nor too pert of tongue." 

I used to wish my tongue and heart more light 

Light hearts bring common friends and common ways, 

The gossip on the green, and marrying, 

The hearth-fire, and small children at the knee.) 

I tried to vision it as the night slid : 

The fire on some known hearth, and some man's head 

Shadowy in the corner, half-asleep, 

And small brown eager faces listening, 

And little hands shut fast on mine, intent 

While I told stories of the gentlefolk, 

The rose and blue and golden of their robes, 

And how their tall white horses galloped past 

All should have faded then to a child's tale. 

I tried to see it all to make sleep come, 
But all was wavering and not to hold, 

150 Jeanne D y Arc at Rheims 

The eager brown dream-children, questioning, 
The spindle whirling as I told the tale: 
Only the hearth-fire, scarlet, sinister, 
Rose high against the eyeballs of my mind, 
Lashing around me in a tide of flame 
That thickened into yellow bitter smoke, 
Sinking all through the air and hiding me. 

I wish I did not think of her to-night, 

The green-clad girl who feared my crucifix 

And laughed out echoless to the light cry 

Of little flutes. Her voice calls in my ear, 

" How have your great white angels guerdoned you 

Now you have followed them ? " O Mary, Christ, 

I am remembering too much to-night. . . . 

" Mother ! " they would have pleaded in the glow, 
" Mother, another tale ! . . . " But I must sleep : 
To-morrow I must ride along the lines 
Lance high and voice made brave, to speak my men 
Blithely for France. I am so tired to-night, 
So tired of all! 

O Mary and O Christ, 
Mary and Jesus of the Sorrowings, 
All Your gray birds of grief are on my heart : 
My Voices have been gone so long, so long, 
And I am only a tired peasant-lass 
Far off from the safe shadows of the woods, 
Far off from any silence. . . . Mary, Christ, 
Once you were peasants too! You know, you know. 


IN this world I shall not find 
Any comforter like Wind, 
Any friend to so endure, 
Any love so strong, so sure. 
I was born when Wind with Star 
Linked its magic, and from far 
Whispered out my destiny. . . . 
And the Winds have brothered me. 

Strong young hill-winds roistering 
Up the steep with me and Spring, 
Wild wet thrilling ocean-gales 
Flinging out my swelling sails, 
Or the little dawning-airs 
Rising pure as baby -prayers 
These have loved me since my birth 
On the wind-swept swinging earth. 

Rose-perfumed night-air that slips 
Like a kiss across my lips, 
Smoke-tanged wood-breath they can sweep 
All old childhood from its sleep 
Underneath thick- fallen days 
Heaped and dun across my ways ; 
For until the end shall be, 
Scent o' wind is Memory. 

152 Wind-Litany 

I remember when befell 
Heartbreak fierce, intolerable, 
And no voice or touch but bound 
Deeper torment on the wound: 
Yet a little wind could rise 
Stroking cheek and tear-wet eyes, 
Breathing, " Hush ! All pain shall pass ! 
Still are winds, and skies, and grass ! " 

God, when all of earth shall lie 
Stripped and new beneath Thine eye, 
And Thy gold stars fall unstrung, 
And Thy curtain-sky down-flung, 
And Thy seas are lifted up 
Whole from out their empty cup, 
Grant me still, in Heaven's place 
Sweet swift winds across my face ! 


WHAT did you see, whose glad wide eyes looked up- 
ward while the night was passing? 

Was it great angels in the skies where we saw gray 
clouds massing? 

Did you see jeweled gates unfold and rosy glories 
round you flowing, 

Or some dear saint- face ringed with gold, when you 
were going? 

Oh, once I saw a cloud gleam rose, where through a 

pane was dawn delaying, 
And once I saw a dear face close grow sad for my not 

And far above, away from me, where green the forest 

trees were growing, 
A wakened bird sang piercingly, when I was going. 

What did you think of, when you lay and smiled 

through all the sobbing round you? 
Was it of debts that Heaven should pay, or gifts that 

earth had found you? 
And did you see sweet deeds behind, or those new joys 

before you lying 
Or dream of faces you should find, when you were 



154 Phe Passing 

Oh, once I thought of an old friend, and once I thought 

of an old lover, 
And once I wondered of the end, and why my days 

were over. 
And your loud world seemed far from me, far off the 

praying and the crying. . . . 
'And a gray tide rose sleepily, when I was dying. 

What did you know, you who were gone before our 

day on earth was breaking? 
Was there a trumpet-ringing dawn greeted your 

Heaven-awaking ? 
Were there gold paths and gem-set walls, with priest 

and prophet triumph-crying 
To greet you in Heaven's shining halls, after your 

dying ? 

Nay, there was peace and silentness, and a still happi- 
ness enfolding, 

And I forgot old weariness, and old pain ceased its 

And old child-visions came to be, and lost child-hopes 
and joys came Hying, 

'And all was very well with me, after my dying! 


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